Definition of hysterical realism in US English:

hysterical realism


  • Realistic fiction that is characterized by overblown prose and intellectual digressions.

    • ‘I wish a speedy death to hysterical realism: It is but a mark of this chaotic age of ours where everyone has become a social critic.’
    • ‘He reacts to this admittedly ungainly thing he calls hysterical realism simply with the desire to go back.’
    • ‘The sources of hysterical realism seem to be a mixture of literary doubt to a broader paranoia that orders the worldview of some writers.’
    • ‘His ontology accepts only real choices, real freedom and real minds: as florid a case of hysterical realism as I have encountered.’
    • ‘The hysterical realism of this passage, its mix of panic and exaggerated irony, is not unselfconscious.’
    • ‘It's not difficult to see how this might also easily apply to modern literature, which ranges from traditional realism, postmodernism to magical realism or hysterical realism.’